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Everyone is always asking, "how can I get cheaper airfare?" Well today's your lucky day as Air France announces a bare-bones ticket that's nothing but cheaper airfare, and they're calling it the "MiNi."
One-way "MiNi" fares would start at €49 (including tax), which is around €20 less than a normal economy ticket, though MiNi means no itinerary changes, no seat selection at booking, and no mileage earning. Still, if you can keep it to carry-on only (checked baggage is €15 per piece in advance, €30 at the airport), it's a heck of a lot cheaper than taking the Eurostar from London to Paris and the TGV on to Nice.
There are 58 starter destinations, all short- and medium-haul, for example from London City to Brest, Nantes, Pau, Avignon, Toulon and Paris-Orly. If you're like, "what the heck in Toulon," then know that it's an airport much nearer to St. Tropez, Cannes and Monte Carlo than Marseille, so that's our first choice right there. Other MiNi fare hubs are Paris-Orly, Marseille, Toulouse and Nice.
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Poor old BMI. Rarely is it the first airline on Brit lips when they plan a trip, its routes are mainly Middle East and North Africa-based these days, and any minute now it’ll be swallowed up by British Airways (unless Richard Branson gets his way). It also has one of the most annoying social media teams in the skies (ever ready to retweet praise, but worse than unhelpful when actually being asked a question. Harrumph).
Anyway, this Jaunted member still has fond memories of BMI when it had a more standard ex-UK routemap; we remember a lovely flight to Rome, with them, and business class to Chicago in 2008 was one of our top flights of all time. So when they ran a sweet deal £159 for business class to Nice we gave them another go. And you know what? We’re very glad we did.
Check in was swift, and although we didn’t dig the silent check-in lady (no good morning, no flight chat, the only words she spoke were “have a good flight” as she handed back our passports) we’ll let BMI off, as we subsequently found out the business check in is manned by Star Alliance staff rather than BMI.
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Nothing says glam quite like the French Riviera, so it’s fitting that Nice Airportwhile it may be smallis beautifully formed. From the airport buildings that look like a grand hotel to the palm trees by where the planes parked, arriving there is all rather glamorous, but the most glamorous part of all is the runway itself.
See, Nice airport is right on the coastthe runway is actually built out in the seaso landing there, if you’re on the right side, gives the impression you’re in a seaplane. Luckily, we had a hunch and chose our side well; a nice blast of adrenaline as you come in to land over the water, and a nice surge of prettiness as you land with the wing practically skimming the Mediterranean. Views of the surrounding coastline aren’t half bad either.